LANDesk ties Lenovo in free software trial

IT managers in search of software for managing their computer systems, are being offered a trial version of LANDesk Management Suite for Lenovo’s ThinkVantage product.

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IT managers in search of software for managing their computer systems, are being offered a trial version of LANDesk Management Suite for Lenovo’s ThinkVantage product.

LANDesk Software is offering a scaled down version of its management software for a free 90-day trial as a download from its Web site.

"This is a special promotion with Lenovo, so there is no cost on the license," said Mike Marshall, director of global strategic alliances at LANDesk. After the 90-day free trail, IT managers must send in a report and proof that the software is being used on Lenovo products to continue using it.

The LANDesk software offers several utilities, such as the ability to generate reports, when used with Lenovo's ThinkVantage software.

ThinkVantage is designed to automate many IT management and security tasks, such as component recall information collation, and advise on software patches and security upgrades.

IT managers using hardware from vendors other than Lenovo can try out the LANDesk offering as well. However, they must pay licensing fees if they choose to keep using it past the trial period. The software also doesn't offer as much functionality when used on non-Lenovo products.

For example, the report generating function on the LANDesk software works with ThinkVantage, but not with IT management software from other major PC vendors.

It can generate reports on whether certain software on Lenovo laptops and desktops has been updated, and a host of other items, such as which laptops at a company might need component upgrades if the company switches to the Windows Vista OS, which has more stringent hardware requirements than Windows XP.

The 90-day trial is aimed at generating interest in the full version of the LANDesk Management Suite. The scaled down version is a good starter for small and medium size companies, said Marshall, but it can be used in companies of all sizes.

IT managers who decide to use the software after the trial phase only have to pay to unlock functions and expand capabilities. They don't have to load the LANDesk Management Suite program. Moreover, they pay only for those utilities they find most useful.

"It's a process of buying a license," Marshall said. "You take what you need."

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